MotoGP Le Mans
For the second consecutive race, Jorge Lorenzo beat out his Fiat Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi, taking the MotoGP victory Sunday at the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France at Le Mans.
In typical Lorenzo style, the Spaniard celebrated his victory by sitting alone in front of the big screen on the Bugatti Circuit at Le Mans, leisurely eating a tub of popcorn.
His victory on the YZR-M1, along with the Jerez win and second at Qatar, awards Lorenzo 70 points after the third of 18 rounds, nine ahead of defending World Champion Rossi.
Starting from the pole, Rossi quickly was out front after the first of 13 turns on the 2.6-mile track, with Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa and Lorenzo following, respectively. In tow behind Lorenzo were Ducati Marlboro riders Nicky Hayden and Casey Stoner.
But Lorenzo wasn’t content with his usual slow starts; the 23-year-old passed Pedrosa on Garages Verts, and began chasing down the Italian, who’s still not fully recovered from a motocross training accident that occurred before Jerez, Rossi hurting his shoulder.
Lorenzo quickly passed Rossi on lap seven, but the nine-time world champion took a tighter line, getting back in front. On lap 10, Lorenzo passed Rossi and immediately began opening a gap, ultimately finishing 5.672 seconds ahead of Rossi.
Pedrosa looked like he’d deliver the Honda RC212V on the podium for 27 or 28 laps, but on the final one he was passed by teammate Andrea Dovizioso, who would take third and his second podium of the 2010 MotoGP season.
But Pedrosa would also be passed by Hayden a few turns later, the Kentucky kid taking his third fourth-place finish of the season. Pedrosa would have to settle for fifth.
As Hayden remains consistently successful, his teammate is a different story. Stoner passed Hayden for fourth on the second lap, but during the next lap the Australian slid out, crashing his Ducati GP10. This was the second crash and DNF of the season for Stoner, who was fastest during Sunday’s warm up.
The second racer to go down was Loris Capirossi, who went down on lap six. The Rizla Suzuki rider damaged his throttle, and wasn’t able to restart the race. Seconds later Monster Tech 3 Yamaha M1 rider Ben Spies crashed.
The reigning World Superbike champion had a nasty highside in the Dunlop Chicane during practice Saturday, receiving a bruised ankle, but was still able to qualify in 12th and compete in Sunday’s race.
MotoGP gets a one-week break, and then heads to Mugello for the Gran Premio D’Italia.
MotoGP Le Mans Results:
1. (99) Jorge LORENZO, SPA, Fiat Yamaha, 44:29.114 (158.0 km/4)
2. (46) Valentino ROSSI, ITA, Fiat Yamaha, +5.672
3. (4) Andrea DOVIZIOSO, ITA, Repsol Honda Team, +7.872
4. (69) Nicky HAYDEN, USA, Ducati Marlboro Team, +9.346
5. (26) Dani PEDROSA, SPA, Repsol Honda Team, +12.613
6. (33) Marco MELANDRI, ITA, San Carlo Honda Gresini, +21.918
7. (14) Randy DE PUNIET, FRA, LCR Honda MotoGP, +29.288
8. (40) Hector BARBERA, SPA, Paginas Amarillas Aspar Ducati, +33.128
9. (41) Aleix ESPARGARO, SPA, Pramac Racing Team Ducati, +33.493
10. (58) Marco SIMONCELLI, ITA, San Carlo Honda Gresini, +33.805
11. (7) Hiroshi AOYAMA, JPN, Interwetten Honda MotoGP, +34.346
12. (5) Colin EDWARDS, USA, Monster Yamaha Tech 3, +37.123
13. (36) Mika KALLIO, FIN, Pramac Racing Team Ducati, +55.061
DNF (65) Loris CAPIROSSI, ITA, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki, 22 Laps remaining
DNF (11) Ben Spies, USA, Monster Yamaha Tech 3, 22 Laps
DNF (27) Casey STONER, AUS, Ducati Marlboro Team, 26 Laps
MotoGP Standings after Round 3:
1. Jorge LORENZO, 70
2. Valentino ROSSI, 61
3. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, 42
4. Dani PEDROSA, 40
5. Nicky HAYDEN, 39
6. Randy DE PUNIET, 26
7. Marco MELANDRI, 21
8. Colin EDWARDS, 16
9. Marco SIMONCELLI, 16
10. Hector BARBERA, 15
11. Hiroshi AOYAMA, 13
12. Mika KALLIO, 12
13. Casey STONER, 11
14. Ben SPIES, 11
15. Aleix ESPARGARO, 8
16. Loris CAPIROSSI, 7
17. Alvaro BAUTISTA, 6